In Othello, what is Cassio’s weakness that Iago takes advantage of?       

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shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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If there's one thing that Iago seems to have a nose for, it's another character's weak spot.  With Cassio, the weakness is alcohol.  In Act II, scene iii, Cassio is invited by Iago to drink heartily with his fellows:


. . .Come, lieutenant, I have a stoup of wine and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants, that would fain have a measure to the health of black Othello.


I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking. . .


. . .but one cup.


I ha' drunk but one cup tonight, and . . .behold what innovation it makes here:  I am unfortunate in the infirmity, and dare not task my weakness with any more.

But, of course Iago convinces him to drink, which leads to a brawl, which leads to Othello stripping Cassio of his position.



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